WP8 launch on Oct. 29th. New Lumias announced on Sept. 5th. Nokia, is there some method to this madness?

The new Windows Phone 8 OS will be officially launched on Oct. 29th, with first WP8 smartphones shipping in the first weeks of November, ZDNet tells us. And, with Mary Jo Foley being one of the best sourced Microsoft bloggers – I’m almost sure this rumor is true.

Which, again, makes me ask – WTF, Nokia?!

Why are you trying  to make things even worse than they are, before your next generation Windows Phones hit market? Is there some suicidal death wish to get your current smartphone market share and Lumia sales down to zero, before WP8 ships?

Are you really announcing your next generation of devices on September 5th, at least 9 weeks before they are available? Why on earth would you do that? And what do you think will happen to current Lumia sales, come September 5th?

The sales, which were already nothing to write home about. Even before you and your partner Microsoft killed any hope of near-term growth, by officially announcing no next generation upgrade path even for the newest of Lumia devices.

Let me get this straight:

  • Your old Symbian smartphone sales are crashing faster than ever, generating losses of hundreds of millions of Euros each quarter
  • Your new Windows Phone devices are performing way below expectations. Yes there was some growth in Lumia, but it was way too slow to compensate for Symbian decline
  • To show Lumia growth in Q2 2012, you already had to resort to price dumping, selling your newest devices at cost or even at a loss. Loosing tens or hundreds of millions on Lumia, too
  • Then, together with Microsoft, you go and announce in June, that there will be no Windows Phone 8 upgrade path for current WP 7.5 Lumias
  • You know, and publicly admit, that June announcement had killed any prospects of Lumia growth in Q3 2012. Your best hope for July-September – is for sales to stay flat compared to Q2, or for only a small decline

I’ll grant you – there may be some logic for not providing WP8 upgrades to current Lumias. Announcing it 4 months before you have new phones to ship – not so much.

And then, next week, you will go and announce a whole range of next generation of Lumia smartphones on WP8, with nothing to ship until early November.

That’s 8 to 9 weeks, when everyone will know about your cool new WP8 smartphones and their features. Almost 4 weeks of sales in already very challenging Q3, and 4 to 5 weeks in Q4, that you hope will be a start of your turnaround. Do you think anyone will care about your current non-upgradable Lumias between September 5th and November? Unless you significantly cut the prices again, adding few hundreds of millions in losses to your balance sheet.

The way I see it now – it all looks like sheer madness. I really hope I am missing something here. That there is some method to this madness.

Maybe ZDnet does not have a full info about Windows Phone 8 launch. Maybe October 29th launch is only for U.S., timed for the start of Holiday Shopping Season. Maybe WP8 rollout will be done the way WP7 was, back in 2010. With the first next generation Windows Phones shipping in Europe and Asia a month before they get to U.S. Maybe you’ve got some other trick up your sleeve. Or some really good reason to do the things you do. Maybe…

I really hope so.

Because if you continue to shoot yourself in the foot, the way you’ve been doing it those past 18 months, there may be too little left to turn the things around.

Really looking forward to Nokia World announcements, to see what gives

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • http://post404.com/ Randall “texrat” Arnold

    It seems to be tradition, as shown with the announcement of Symbian discontinuation long before there would be Windows 7 devices…

  • DeviltheoryPelf19
  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    I do understand the reasons for Feb. 11th announcement. And I do not think the damage to Symbian from it was as big as people think.

    But this one. If there will indeed be 2 months before new Lumias ship – is sheer madness. Self inflicted pain without any rhyme or reason

  • http://post404.com/ Randall “texrat” Arnold

    I don’t think there ARE any reasons, so we disagree. And of course the announcement killed Symbian’s chances. Nokia essentially told its customers: “Don’t buy our Symbian products. We’re killing them off. Oh, and no replacement for another year. So you might want to check out our competitors.”

    There’s just no way the effects were anything less than disastrous. The proof is in the results.

    The way to manage a platform transition is to be at least a bit cagey. You definitely don’t announce the death of a product line when there are no replacements. That’s corporate suicide.

  • JD

    Actually, I think the reason for the launch is pretty obvious. Windows 7.8. I am a current Lumia 900 owner and will be very excited if the upgrade my current phone next week. I’ll also be buying a new Windows 8 phone in November. I think this is a great idea, and it may generate some interest in their current Lumia 900s with AT&T if people can now see what the Windows 7.8 upgrade means.

  • blaa

    Oh dear, these silly symbian arguments again. If you didnt see Symbian being eaten alive by Android.. RIM shows whats up. Symbian and millions of staff working on that disaster needed to be unloaded ASAP.

    This annoucement is all about Microsoft revealing Windows Phone 8 before the next iPhone. Crazy? Oh, did you see surface announcement two months ago? They definitely will launch phones in Europe before USA operators like usual

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QH25RVNTUIAU7HT6DQ7CONEO2U havasu46

    Oh come on. Everyone in the Nokia universe knows what;s going on so can the self serving FUD. Nokia’s sales of Lumia 610-900 WP7 devices has already taken the hit for WP8 about 2-3 months ago, Maybe next Wed when Nokia announces the Lumia 910, 920 and 950 we, all Lumia WP7 owners, can select our next phone for 2013. In the meantime I’ll be looking to see how much my Windows 8 tableyt or hybrid will cost.

  • Youssef Mrabet

    So even if Symbian sales were growing before Feb11 (yes share was dropping but sales were growing) and started dropping just after that announcement you still think the damage wasn’t as big?